Nissan will provide 500 of its electric Nissan LEAF model to NHS Fleet Solutions under a salary sacrifice scheme.
NHS Fleet Solutions, which is operated by regional provider of national healthcare, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, will enable public sector staff to benefit from zero emission cars and very low rates of benefit in kind taxation under the deal, currently 1%.
Staff pay for the vehicles by giving up a portion of their salary in return for the vehicle, while paying a small amount of government tax.
Such salary sacrifice schemes are proving increasingly popular in the UK thanks to low benefit in kind taxation applied to zero emission vehicles, and the savings for employers in National Insurance (a 13.5% charge on the employee benefit in kind).
According to research from Arval, the percentage of employers offering salary sacrifice has risen from 39% in 2020 to 53% in 2021. The leasing and mobility company noted that such schemes were more popular with larger employers with in excess of 500 employees, rather than SME firms. Typical is energy firm EDF, which has just taken delivery of the 500th electric car delivered by a salary sacrifice leasing specialist Tusker.
Peter McDonald, the fleet director at Nissan, commenting on the new LEAF deal, said:
‘‘We supply large volumes of cars and vans to all sorts of businesses and organisations across the UK but this agreement with NHS Fleet Solutions makes us feel particularly proud. We are delighted that hundreds of NHS staff will be experiencing electric motoring, many for the first time.”
District nurse Kathryn Todd was one of the first to take advantage of the salary sacrifice scheme for the car.
Covering 70 miles a day she has found the Nissan fully capable of meeting the needs of her role, while benefiting from the tax advantages of an electric car.
"I had a petrol-engined car previously and the benefit in kind payments were substantial, along with the monthly lease payments," says Todd.
But that has changed with the switch to electricity. "Everything is included, apart from the electricity needed to charge it up, and I also receive a small mileage allowance from the Trust. I used to spend at least £150 a month on petrol and I’d get about £60 back, but with my electric car, I’m closer to breaking even. I charge it overnight to obtain cheaper electricity – and of course, with a petrol or diesel car, you can’t do that."
NHS Fleet Solutions said that the all-electric LEAF, capable of up to 235 miles on a charge, was proving a popular car with lots of positive feedback.
“It helps support our environmental sustainability efforts in encouraging more use of electric vehicles,’’ added a spokesperson.